US-based Precision Therapeutics has formed a new wholly owned subsidiary ‘TumorGenesis’ to focus on precision cancer therapy and drug development by creating patient-derived (PDx) tumour models.

TumorGenesis is set to develop a new technique for growing tumours in the laboratory in order to generate a patient relevant model that can be used to test drugs for personalised use or aid in development of new medications.

The new technique is expected to be quick, inexpensive and better duplicate tumour characteristics compared to existing PDx animal models.

It is intended to make the growth of cancer cells in a lab similar to that inside a human body by providing structured environment externally with the required chemistry, biology, mechanics and cell nutrients.

Precision Therapeutics CEO Dr Carl Schwartz said: “The TumorGenesis PDx model forms a key part of our strategy to build out our artificial intelligence (AI)-based healthcare business.

“The TumorGenesis PDx model forms a key part of our strategy to build out our artificial intelligence (AI)-based healthcare business.”

“Testing of patient tumours using this brand new approach will a) provide a personalised therapy protocol for a patient b) provide high-quality data for Helomics’s D-CHIP AI platform and c) drive partnerships with Pharma companies for the development of new therapies.”

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To prepare the TumorGenesis PDx models, the firm will tag tumour cells from a patient’s biopsy with peptides and use the tags to bind the cells to a 3D biomimetic support in a standard 96 well microplate. The tumour cells will be subsequently grown in the 3D culture system.

Initially, the firm plans to develop PDx multiple myeloma, triple-negative breast cancer (tnbc) and ovarian cancer models.

To test the new tumour models, Precision partnered with Helomics and is working on various other agreements to leverage medical technologies from different companies for advancing the research.